Kevin Stanford walked into a Schlotzsky’s Deli in San Angelo, TX recently and he was disturbed to hear what was being played on the store’s stereo system: Christian music. And lots of it.
He wrote to the restaurant’s website and explained why this bothered him:
… This was not instrumental music that I happened to recognize as religious, this was vocal with references to Jesus. I am not a Christian, and I was offended, as I am sure any other patron who wasn’t a Christian would be. Are you aware that playing Christian music in your eating establishments excludes any of your patrons who might be Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist, Agnostic, and others? Even though I enjoy the food, I will not be patronizing your eating establishments until I have heard directly from your company that a more universally welcoming soundtrack will be played.
Is it an overreaction? I don’t think so. It wasn’t just one song and it is annoying to hear if you’re not a Christian (hell, it’s probably annoying even if you are).
Not only that, it’s bad for business if people think the restaurant is only catering to a certain kind of customer and they’re not among them. Surely the corporate offices would want to take quick action.
And they did.
Here’s the response from Corporate to this particular restaurant’s owner, CC’ed to Kevin:
We recognize the challenges of operating a restaurant and pleasing each and every customer. With that in mind, we are forwarding this information to you so that you may be aware of this customer’s perception. Please investigate the situation and take corrective action as needed.
Please respond within 24 hours and let us know of any actions or responses to the customer.
Customer Service Representative
Not like a man who knows how to run a successful franchise…:
This country was founded on freedom from religious persecution. Entering MY business, with the ambiance, excellent food and service, is a result of God allowing me to have this business to manage for Him. As thankful as I am for that gift I will continue to show my love by playing songs exalting Him. This is not ment to offed you, may I suggest you using the drive through in the future
I’m offended by his response… and poor grammar.
To summarize, Wood is going to continue to play Christian music whether it makes his customers happy or not. Their experience at his restaurant be damned.
But he’ll be glad to take their money.
Kevin wrote back to Wood as said as much, adding:
I find it hard to believe that Schlotzsky’s corporate approves of your ideology, but if that is the case … fair enough. I will not be frequenting your establishment, and I doubt that anyone else who realizes the way you feel about those who believe differently than you would care to, either.
Wood is allowed to play whatever music he wants to, but playing Jesus music all day long is certainly not the way to draw in more customers. Next thing you know, he’ll be giving discounts to people who bring in church bulletins.
I’d be surprised if the corporate offices didn’t take some sort of action.
Kevin does teach us a good lesson, though — if something like this happens, don’t be afraid to contact the corporate offices. Hopefully, they’ll be quick to take action.